A HUMOROUS NEW CAMPAIGN BY HAVAS PARIS SHOWCASES THE POWER OF MEANINGFUL MEDIA AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM.
“FOR ITS FIRST TV COMMERCIAL WE WANTED A POPULAR, FUNNY FILM THAT EMBODIES THE VALUES OF PQR”
“L’entraînement”, or “The Training,” follows a team of soccer misfits as their coach embarks on an interesting pre-match regime, guided by information he has gathered from his daily newspaper. Stéphane Gaubert, Chief Creative Officer of Havas Paris, chats about the funny campaign, which demonstrates the essential role the regional daily press, PQR, plays in the lives of the French.
How did your team land on this concept and what was the main thing you wanted this campaign to achieve?
The PQR newspapers have a very strong place in the daily lives of the French. They cover international, national and especially local news. We wanted to emphasise the usefulness of these newspapers in daily life. For PQR’s first TV commercial we wanted a popular, funny film that embodies the values of the brand.
The film is a showcase of just how important journalism and the PQR is to France, why do you think it should be protected?
Journalism obviously has an essential role to play in understanding the world around us and in keeping an open and critical mind. But local media also has a central role in people’s daily lives. Newspapers federate, create a common culture, and provide practical information that is no longer found anywhere else. This is why it is important that people continue to buy and read them.
The ad portrays an unlucky and comic team, what role does humour play in the success of this ad?
This is the first time the PQR has communicated. We wanted to keep the light tone that is part of the brand’s DNA, especially since this is not always the case today. Advertisements for media tend to be much more serious. We wanted the public to be able to identify with our team – normal people whose daily lives are impacted by the PQR.
What did you hope to achieve with the film’s casting of this team’s misfits and its coach?
We wanted actors with real personalities. Not losers, but simple guys who play a bit of soccer on the weekends to keep in shape. We were inspired a little bit by the Full Monty. The coach is a little more professional, more invested in his role. It’s from him that the solution to success comes!
The film was directed by Côme Ferré. What did he bring to the project?
Côme was immediately very enthusiastic and forceful in his proposals. We agreed on the direction of the film. He’s a perfectionist whether it was the direction of the actors, the narration or the music. He even wrote all the articles that you see in the film. Amazing!